What’s Your Medical IQ? Survey Says…

quizpic4 Whats Your Medical IQ? Survey Says... Photo

Archival photo of a doctor on a ship in 1941. From the Samuel J. Hood Studio Collection


Americans have a pretty high perception of their medical IQ. When surveyed, 42% of respondents said their medical IQ was probably in the top 80th to 100th percentile. In practice, however, the hubris doesn’t line up with the results.

Many Americans do not know basic information about their doctor’s training. During our survey, 66% of respondents said they didn’t know (or didn’t care!) which medical school their doctor attended. Thirty percent of respondents didn’t know that a cardiologist was not a primary care doctor.

Women are more likely to know the cost of care compared to men, and both are more likely to be price sensitive about prescription costs than medical care costs. About 78% of people regularly ask for generic equivalents for their prescription medications.

Despite earning more, people with higher incomes are more likely to negotiate their medical bills. Cost information still eludes many Americans, however, as 65% of respondents don’t know the cost of a medical service or procedure before receiving care.

Also, many Americans get a failing grade on understanding basic insurance terms. Only 23% know what co-insurance is.

Know where their doctor went to school 34% 38% 30%
Know what PCP means 70% 79% 61%
Know the lowest price for flu shot 67% 65% 70%
Have negotiated a doctor bill 36% 38% 34%
Know cost of a medical procedure 35% 38% 29%
Ask for generic equivalents 78% 79% 77%
Know the following terms
deductible 66% 63% 70%
copay 82% 82% 82%
coinsurance 23% 24% 22%
formulary 47% 50% 44%
out-of-pocket maximum 87% 87% 89%
FSA 51% 56% 45%
Insurance Term Score 59.33% 60.33% 58.67%
OVERALL SCORE 54.19% 56.76% 51.38%








  1. […] See what else Americans don’t know about their own health care system by viewing the full results from our “What’s Your Medical IQ?” […]